Pinehurst Golf Trip 2011 Part Two
Pinehurst Golf Trip Part 2: Since I wrote the lead up post regarding the annual Pinehurst golf trip, I thought I would add a final recap. Rather than recount a bunch of stories that would not be very interesting to most folks, I thought I would instead give a laundry list of my golf trip thoughts and some golf specific thoughts that I came away with.
Pinehurst travel and tournament suggestions:
1) If you want to book a Pinehurst trip, I would recommend using Talamore Golf Resort: 800-552-6292. They will hook you up with good packages and make sure you get preferred tee times, including some private courses. This year we played Seven Lakes, Mid South and Talamore. Seven Lakes is about 20 minutes from Pinehurst but is worth the drive. It is a nice little Donald Ross course with great greens and a lush layout. Mid South is more of your typical big club house course. Just a wonderful layout although I don’t love bermuda greens. Talamore is more straight forward, but with tons of sand and can play very long if you so choose.
2) Playing 36 holes of golf will wipe you out, but it is worth the rally to go out for a few beers. One of our favorite places to go out is the Jefferson Inn. They have a awesome courtyard with live music, a good bar and plenty of sights.
3) Organizing different games to play with 8 people can be a challenge, especially if everyone does not have a handicap. Moreover, we find that the 4th round can be really hard since that is the height of being tired. This year we added a 2 man captain’s choice format for that 4th round. It takes a little pressure off each shot, but keeps you in the mode a lot more than a 4 man format. I highly recommend the format for the second 18 of a day.
4) Another new twist we added this year was to have the higher handicapper “draft” their partner. In other words, the player who had the highest score in the morning got to choose their partner for the next round. That process was followed until everyone was drafted. Not only did it take the pressure off of me to set up teams, but it made for interesting discussion at lunch.
GOLF SPECIFIC THOUGHTS
1) I played 4 individual rounds and shot 89, 81, 89, 84. The whole time I was plagued by an awful over the top swing which I constantly fight. However, I was really determined to find a way to not blow up and even try to find a way to go low. By focusing on what I was doing well (chipping and putting), I was able to bang out a few good rounds and never have a horrible one. I even had a 37 on the back nine on thursday thanks to two birdies. I guess my point is that we rarely have it clicking on all cylinders so when you are struggling (especially off the tee), try to keep in mind you can make up a lot of ground around the green.
2) One of my favorite rounds I was paired with a guy who usually shoots in the high 90’s. Since we were team mates, I asked him if I could help manage his round and thankfully he was open to it. My idea was to put this blog post to the test. In short, I wanted to take a lot of the bad stuff out (without any swing advice). The most common thing I did was get him to drop down a club after he had made his club selection. At least 4-6 times I got him to move down a club. Half of the time he hit the green and none of the time did he fly the green. I am absolutely convinced amateurs think they hit clubs 15 yards longer than they actually do. I also got him to take dead aim at the safest spot on the green when chipping (rather than try to get it close to the pin). This allowed him to have 12-20 foot par putts and tons of tap in bogies. The result was a 94 with just 5 doubles (his lowest number of the trip). Even better he told me he really enjoyed the round as he felt much more in control of his game.
3) Finally, when things go really bad, I might advise these new balls.
Well thats it till next June!